Category Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

OL of Mt Carmel & St Simon jpgCardinal Newman in his admirable “Letter addressed to the Rev. E. B. Pusey, D.D., on occasion of his Eirenicon” (1865) says very aptly: “Theology is occupied with supernatural matters, and is ever running into mysteries, which reason can neither explain nor adjust. Its lines of thought come to an abrupt termination, and to pursue them or to complete them is to plunge down the abyss. St. Augustine warns us that, if we attempt to find and to tie together the ends of lines which run into infinity, we shall only succeed in contradicting ourselves” (Difficulties felt by Anglicans in Catholic Teaching, 5th ed., p. 430). It is widely agreed that the ultimate considerations which determine a true estimate of all particular points of the Christian tradition are doctrinal. No purely historical arguments, whether from antiquity or from silence, are ever decisive. They are subject to a further theological scrutiny and revision in the perspective of the total Christian faith, taken as a whole. The ultimate question is simply this: does one really keep the faith of the Bible and of the Church, does one accept and recite the Catholic Creed exactly in that sense in which it had been drafted and supposed to be taken and understood, does one really believe in the truth of the Incarnation?

Let me quote Newman once more. “I say then,” he proceeds, “when once we have mastered the idea, that Mary bore, suckled, and handled the Eternal in the form of a child, what limit is conceivable to the rush and flood of thoughts which such a doctrine involves? What awe and surprise must attend upon the knowledge, that a creature has been brought so close to the Divine Essence?” (op. cit., page 431). Fortunately, a Catholic theologian is not left alone with logic and erudition. He is led by the faith; credo ut intelligam. Faith illuminates the reason. And erudition, the memory of the past, is quickened in the continuous experience of the Church.

A Catholic theologian is guided by the teaching authority of the Church, by its living tradition. But above all, he himself lives in the Church, which is the Body of Christ. The mystery of the Incarnation is still, as it were, continuously enacted in the Church, and its “implications” are revealed and disclosed in devotional experience and in sacramental participation. In the Communion of Saints, which is the true Church Universal and Catholic, the mystery of the New Humanity is disclosed as a new existential situation. And in this perspective and living context of the Mystical Body of Christ the person of the Blessed Virgin Mother appears in full light and full glory. The Church now contemplates her in the state of perfection. She is now seen as inseparably united with her Son, who “sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty.” For her the final consummation of life has already come-in an anticipation. “Thou art passed over into Life, who art the Mother of Life,” acknowledges the Church, “Neither grave nor death had power over the Mother of God… for the Mother of Life hath been brought into Life by him who dwelt in her ever-virgin womb” (Troparion and Kontakion for the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary).

Again, it is not so much a heavenly reward for her purity and virtue, as an “implication” of her sublime office, of her being the Mother of God, the Theotokos. The Church Triumphant is above all the worshipping Church, her existence is a living participation in Christ’s office of intercession and his redeeming love. Incorporation into Christ, which is the essence of the Church and of the whole Christian existence, is first of all an incorporation into his sacrificial love for mankind. And here there is a special place for her who is united with the Redeemer in the unique intimacy of motherly affection and devotion. The Mother of God is truly the common mother of all living, of the whole Christian race, born or reborn in the Spirit and truth. An affectionate identification with the child, which is the spiritual essence of motherhood, is here consummated in its ultimate perfection. The Church does not dogmatize much about these mysteries of her own existence. For the mystery of Mary is precisely the mystery of the Church. Mater Ecclesia and Virgo Alater, both are birthgivers of the New Life. And both are orantes.

The Church invites the faithful and helps them to grow spiritually into these mysteries of faith which are as well the mysteries of their own existence and spiritual destiny. In the Church they learn to contemplate and to adore the living Christ together with the whole assembly and Church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven (Heb. 12:23). And in this glorious assembly they discern the eminent person of the Virgin Mother of the Lord and Redeemer, full of grace and love, of charity and compassion — “More honorable than the cherubim, more glorious than the seraphim, who without spot didst bear the Eternal Word.” In the light of this contemplation and in the spirit of faith the theologian must fulfill his office of interpreting to believers and to those who seek the truth the overwhelming mystery of the Incarnation. This mystery is still symbolized, as it was in the age of the Fathers, by a single and glorious name: Mary Theotokos, the Mother of God Incarnate.

The Ever-Virgin Mother of God
Archpriest George Florovsky

A prayer to Mary

JP & OL Guadalupe Dec 12, 2009.jpgMary, humble servant of God Most High, the Son to whom you gave birth has made you the servant of humanity. Your life was a humble and generous service. You were servant of the Word when the angel announced to you the divine plan of salvation. You were servant of the Son, giving him life and remaining opening to his mystery. You were servant of redemption, standing courageously at the foot of the cross, close to the Suffering Servant and Lamb, who was sacrificing himself for love of us. You were servant of the Church on the day of Pentecost and with your intercession you continue to generate her in every believer, even in these our difficult and troubled times. Let the young people of the third millennium look to you, young daughter of Israel, who have known the agitation of a young heart when faced with the plan of the Eternal God. Make them able to accept the invitation of your Son to give their lives wholly for the glory of God. Make them understand that to serve God satisfies the heart, and that only in the service of God and of his Kingdom do we realize ourselves in accordance with the divine plan, and life becomes a hymn a glory to the Most Holy Trinity. Amen.

Pope John Paul II
11 May 2003

Real Men Pray the Rosary

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Tomorrow, July 1, will be first anniversary of existence of the group, Real Men Pray the Rosary on Facebook! Imagine!!!! The rosary is a beautiful prayer, it is attention to Christ through his Mother and if you want, praying the rosary is Scripture study.

RMPR claims to have 9,722 “FANS”, people who have identified themselves as Jesus-loving, Rosary-praying Christians on a journey to holiness. (They’re looking to reach 10,000 fans? Wanna join???) Let’s begin a GLOBAL FACEBOOK ROSARY for the anniversary.

Real Men Pray the Rosary is a work dedicated to the promotion of Christian spirituality, community development and education. Through the good work and spiritual companionship of ACTS Missions, RMPR and ACTS flourish. 

Our Lady of Perpetual Help

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Mother of Perpetual Help, you have been blessed and favored by God. You became not only the Mother of the Redeemer but the Mother of the redeemed as well. We come to you today as your loving children. Watch over us and take care of us. As you held the child Jesus in your loving arms, so take us in your arms. Be a mother ready at every moment to help us. For God who is mighty has done great things for you, and His mercy is from age to age on those who love Him. Our greatest fear is that in time of temptation, we may fail to call out to you, and become lost children. Intercede for us, dear Mother, in obtaining pardon for our sins, love for Jesus, final perseverance, and the grace always to call upon you, Mother of Perpetual Help.

Immaculate Heart of Mary

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O Most Blessed Mother, heart of love, heart of mercy, ever
listening, caring, consoling, hear our prayer. As your children, we implore
your intercession with Jesus your Son. Receive with understanding and
compassion the petitions we place before you today, especially …(special

We are comforted in knowing your heart is ever open to those who
ask for your prayer. We trust to your gentle care and intercession, those whom
we love and who are sick or lonely or hurting. Help all of us, Holy Mother, to
bear our burdens in this life until we may share eternal life and peace with
God forever. Amen.

Why is there a liturgical memorial of Mary Immaculate Heart? What does the Church teach?

Following the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the feast of the Lord’s all holy Mother, the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The two are inseparable and with good reason. It is only with Mary that we meet the face of God in human form. Her yes, her beauty, her purity of heart and body makes it possible for God to be made flesh. As the Mother of God, so our our Mother.

In directing our prayer the Church tells us the feasts of the Sacred Heart and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary have an intimate connection especially known in the Liturgy as a sign of “the mysterium of the Heart of Jesus” because Mary is both Mother and disciple. “As the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart celebrates the salvific mysteries of Christ in a synthetic manner by reducing them to their fount –the Heart of Jesus, so too the memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a celebration of the complex visceral relationship of Mary with her Son’s work of salvation: from the Incarnation, to his death and resurrection, to the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

The tradition of the first Saturdays should be kept in tact and promoted because of the close connection with the Holy Eucharist. The first Saturdays teaches the faithful (clergy and laity alike) of the need to repair the break sin causes in both the Divine and human relationship through prayer, mortification and the giving of alms and charitable work. Why? Because “This pious practice should be seen as an opportunity to live intensely the paschal Mystery celebrated in the Holy Eucharist, as inspired by the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary” (DPPL, 174).

This feast is yet another example of the Church giving to her children the opportunity to attend to the affect, that is, to one’s humanity, in order to know and love more intimately the salvation given to us in Christ. It is not a one time experience but an on-going, incremental changing of mentality that draws us closer to Christ.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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